I don’t recall the exact reference for this story, so I’ll have to go by memory. A ceramics teacher did the following experiment, with two beginning classes. To the first class he said, “all you have to do to get an A in this class is make fifty pots.” To the second, he said, “all you have to do to get an A in this class is make one really good pot.” And what happened, apparently, is that the first class got much better at making pots than the second class.
As a writer, and as a teacher, this seems real to me. I can well imagine the hell the second class went through, each slaving over one fraught pot. Or maybe two or three pots, if the first pots broke. So I take this result to heart, and my motto de jour is: Make Fifty Pots. I want to get an A.